Written by Brock Poulsen, brockst4r Sunday, 01 January 2012 12:00
I recently purchased a brand-new copy of Splash Damage's Brink (I had traded out my previous copy on Goozex). The price? Five American dollars. For a game not even 7 months old. So what is the story with this game's rapid plummet into the bargain bin?
One factor of Brink's price drop is certainly its quality. I was, perhaps, overenthusiastic in my review of Brink, but I stand by the points I made. It has some grand ambitions and falls short on many of them, ultimately ending up as something slightly better than a mediocre first-person shooter. But if we're dishing out price cuts solely based on low quality, there are dozens of worse offenders than Brink. Have you played MindJack? Or a little turd called Iron Man 2? Both of these games are virtually unplayable, and MindJack at least was preceded by a decent amount of hype. Either of these games deserves more hatred and steeper discounts than Brink, yet neither has received the same venom.
So why do certain games get singled out? I noticed a similar outcry with Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. It was an aggressively hyped game that failed to deliver on some gamers' expectations, and has received heavy price cuts as well. Gamers hate to be disappointed, and they respond ferociously when it happens. A terrible game can release quietly and sell a decent number of copies, while a better game can suffer a worse fate.
It's pretty clear that the excitement leading to a game's release has a direct impact on price cuts and review scores, for better or for worse. Gamers have what almost amounts to a collective consciousness; the Internet allows ideas to spread rapidly and thoroughly. Opinions latch onto this hive brain with the tenacity of an alligator in a death roll, refusing to relinquish its grip. Brink may have fallen victim to this opinion machine, and received some unfounded hatred.
Brink is by no means a perfect game, but it offers fast-paced shooter action at an absolute rock-bottom price, and it's better than the venom it has inspired.